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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation 2
PUBLISHER:
Ubisoft
DEVELOPER:
Ubisoft Montreal
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
November 30, 2004
ESRB RATING:
Teen
IN THE SERIES
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

More in this Series
 Written by Ryan Smotherman  on June 16, 2004

First Impressions: Just when you thought altering the flow of time couldn't get any better.


Background check; Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was an update to the classic 16-bit platformer, Prince of Persia. It released last year, kicked our asses and naturally is back with a sequel set to release this Fall. For the uninitiated, the game stars the "prince", a middle-eastern ninja who performs insane acrobatic maneuvers that'd make Spiderman blush, and is also crafty with the blade. This third-person action/adventure received critical acclaim upon its release (even a 9.1 from Adam), and for good reason, but Ubisoft looks to be taking the reborn series to the next level with a more refined fighting engine and all the anti-gravity moves you'd only see this prince perform. Our first multi-platformer game of the year nominee recently showed it's mug at last month's E3, and I'm here with GT's first look.

Shortly after our prince's adventure in the Sands of Time, we find our boy has completed his training and is now even more skillful than ever (yeah, I feel for his opposition). Having supposedly cheated death, the unstoppable god, Dahaka, is after the prince's life and you'll have to travel back in time to prevent your death yet again. Yes, it's a bit vague at this stage in the game, but Ubisoft has yet to reveal all their cards to what's promised to be yet another remarkable storyline. With the set-up out of the way, let's take a look at what to expect.

First things first, Prince of Persia 2 promises to be a much darker and disturbed game than the previous. It seems the years haven't been kind to the prince and he has traded in his laid back personality for one of more purpose and seriousness. No doubt, he looks to have a darker soul, and it's one that he'll have to put to good use to take down the enemies of the underworld. Now equipped with dual swords, the prince will be back with his amazing fighting skills and then some. For those who never played Sands, the fighting mechanics where more style and grace than anything -- the prince was able to bust out multi-hit combos as he flipped around and battled multiple baddies at a single time. While simple, the fun-factor was off the charts. Of course, to create a similar experience that's different enough for the vets Ubisoft has to shake things up a bit. The dual swords are a good start, but also expect tons of different moves, and the inclusion of range weaponry (though details are scarce). One move in particular that has been revealed involves the prince's old move where he vaults over an opponent and comes down with a downward strike, yet this time he disarms them and puts a sword to their throat, allowing you to use them as a body guard, or you can just finish them off with a double-sworded decapitation ? it's your choice. Expect many more similarly cool abilities to pop up.

Additionally, the prince retains many of his time altering abilities ? you can rewind time if you miss a tough jump and try again, or you can put it into use in battle. One new feature allows you to slow down your opponent's time while you still move in normal speed, giving the player a distinct advantage. No doubt, we'll also see many different inventive ways to use this skill in the final build. Of course, these are just trimmings added to an already established gameplay engine. Like the last one, the game will be equal parts adventure and action. The adventure elements contain tons of different platforming elements ? involving good timing and quick reflexes as you take on the game's dubious environments. Once more you'll be required to find your way through each craftily designed level, dodging traps and figuring out which path will help make you through. A touch of puzzle solving elements will be present once more, but it shouldn't be anything too hard-hitting. Speaking of hard hitting, the more intense moments will have you involved in combat, however, you should be up to the task. Though, huge boss battles will present themselves this go around, which should no doubt be interesting.

Once more, the game looks to be a visual feast for the eyes. For a multi-platform release the original was striking and things look to be the same this go around as well. The game looks incredibly fluid, the textures are rich and colorful, and the environments are full of jaw-dropping detail. And that's not to mention the fine details that the time altering abilities bring to the table. As mentioned before, the game is darker this time around and the visuals seem to present that image very well thus far ? enemies are creepier than ever and the environments should be something to behold. Audio-wise, if it can live up to the first one then no gamer should complain ? I'm talking excellent weapons effects, great voice acting, and truly inspiring music.

Final Thoughts
Like in any sequel you're going to get more of the same here, but Ubisoft is sure to pull off something very worthy of the original (just look at their track record? Splinter Cell anyone?). Unfortunately, many details are still under wraps, but I'll be back with an update as soon as more is revealed. All in all, this is a game to definitely get excited for.


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